A worm bin, or home vermicomposting system, is a fun and easy project that will help you eliminate some of your household waste and create rich compost to add to your garden or household plants. There are a variety of sources out there to help set up your own bin, but I found these two the most helpful:
Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof I bought this book at the Rediscovered Books store in downtown Boise. They have a great selection in the gardening/sustainable living section.
How to Make Your Own Worm Bin I used this site to learn how to build a bin out of a Rubbermaid container.
I bought two Rubbermaid bins and drilled holes into the sides and the lid. I also drilled holes into the bottom of the bin that the worms would be in. The holes are important because they make sure that plenty of air is circulating through the bin, which takes away any possible smells that would come from it.
I then shredded enough paper to fill the bin, but when I got it wet it only filled about 1/4 of the bin. The worms need proper bedding, which includes paper, shredded leaves, coconut fiber, and other bedding. It helps if you have more than one type of worm bedding. Their bedding also needs to be moist because they breathe through their skin.
Because my paper turned out too dense for the worms, I decided to buy some coconut fiber from Zamzows.
It is densely packed together so you need to break it apart and let it soak up water before you add the worms.
Once the bedding is damp, add worms!
I bought my red worms from Zamzows, and one of their containers hold about 100 worms. My bin should hold at least 1,000 worms. They reproduce prolifically so you only need to buy one container and then they will do the rest. After your worms have settled in, dig a hole in your bin and bury some food for them. They like practically everything, including egg shells (do not put the egg yolk or whites in the bin), and most fruits and vegetables. Do not feed them dairy or meat products (they will smell horribly).